Rising to the Challenge | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Rising to the Challenge 

Published April 4, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated April 4, 2022 at 8:06 p.m.

click to enlarge editnote1-1-94a3fb00bb4b6527.jpg

At the end of March, I joined my 9-year-old daughter, Mira, in the Spectrum Youth & Family Services Student Sleep Out. The annual event, a spin-off of the nonprofit's adult Sleep Out, was started in 2014 to raise money and awareness about homelessness in the state. During the Sleep Out, we heard from speakers, including a young woman who had once been homeless and a local police officer. We ate "stone soup" for dinner made with kids' contributions. And we walked through town with signs urging people to help fight homelessness and support Spectrum.

After campfire discussions, our group — more than 50 strong — packed into sleeping bags and slept, shoulder to shoulder, on the town office building's hard floor. (Organizers decided to have kids sleep inside this year due to the wet, snowy ground and frigid temps.) As a community, we raised more than $10,000 to support Spectrum. It was an experience that will undoubtedly stick with Mira for a long time, and hopefully will make her a more compassionate and generous person. As for me? Well, in addition to a sore back, I felt tons of mom pride in Mira's enthusiasm for the experience, as well as gratitude to my fellow parents who made this event possible.

My own experience reminded me of contributor Erinn Simon's piece in this month's Money Issue. She took Hunger Free Vermont's 3SquaresVT Challenge, which meant feeding her family of five for a week with only $115 — the average amount families of the same size receive for food when they qualify for government assistance. The challenge was created to draw attention to what it's like to live on a strict food allowance. It's our hope that, in addition to giving our readers tips on eating well on a budget, Simon's piece will raise awareness of the fact that 17 percent of children in our state live in food-insecure homes.

Other money-related content in this issue includes an interview with a financial adviser about saving for college, an advice column about allowance, and — as we ease into the spring season — articles about growing salad shoots and building a greenhouse on the cheap.

Whether it's taking your own version of the 3Squares challenge or embarking on a new gardening project, we hope this month's issue will nudge you outside of your comfort zone and help you grow.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation